A recovering addict and a pregnant woman walk into a club...
Unfortunately, this set-up makes as poor a premise for a joke as it does an MTV reality show. Jersey Shore's Season 6 premiere marks the first time the roommates were brought together since Snooki announced her pregnancy and Mike "The Situation" finished rehab. So how did the famously wild series fare with two sober Shore-mates?
To be honest, I didn't mind the premiere. It wasn't nearly as heartwarming as the spin-off Snooki & JWoww, but it wasn't obnoxiously superficial either. After a tumultuous few seasons, Mike attempts to kick off the summer on a high note with a traditional Italian apology: a home-cooked meal, which Pauly D points out is very reminiscent of Season 1. While it's nice to see the whole crew reunited and getting along, the dinner didn't have the same goofy liveliness it once did. Though, who can blame them? Rehab isn't exactly a fun dinner-party topic.
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A lot of the premiere was similar: reminiscent of the show's glory days, but without the outlandish behavior that made the series great. (They should definitely add an "H" for hungover to GTL, because watching a bunch of sober people work out and tan is not very entertaining nor should it ever happen again). And when the cast wasn't too busy pumping iron to hold actual conversations, I often felt as though I was looking in on a high school reunion, with the roommates waxing poetic about the good ol' days ("She jumped on me breasts first!" and "We were triple-kissing some Connecticut chicks" should seriously be embossed on holiday cards).
Even once the gang (minus Snooki) was out at Karma, they didn't seem able to re-create the spontaneity — and immaturity — that turned Jersey Shore into a cultural phenomenon. Maybe it's because the roommates have grown up or maybe it's simply that they've been doing the same thing every summer for four years. Vinny even points out that he's already "smashed" every girl at Karma. So what's a juicehead to do now? Go grenade-hunting?
But never fear: Not all hope is lost at the Shore this year.
Season 6 may have started out with a whimper, but the series kicks it up a notch in the second episode with some classic Shore drama. A Ronnie-and-Sammi fight? Check. Unforeseen things getting in the way of Mike and Pauly getting laid? Check. Absurd rules from the "Swag Handbook"? Check, check, check! (Not to mention, we already know there's a big arrest on the way for one of the housemates this season.)
That's why even after the rather lame tame premiere, I'm still willing to give Jersey Shore's final season a chance — at least for a little while longer. Then again, I'm a sucker for nostalgia.
What did you think of Jersey Shore's premiere?